India launches next-generation weather satellite INSAT-3DS into orbit

India’s space agency, ISRO, launched an exclusive meteorological satellite, INSAT-3DS, on Saturday, February 17, 2024, at 7:05 a.m. EST (12:05 UTC or 5:35 p.m. Indian local time).

The agency’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) carried the INSAT-3DS satellite from the second launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC) to the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). 

Liftoff of the INSAT-3DS satellite atop a GSLV rocket on February 17, 2024
Liftoff of the INSAT-3DS satellite atop a GSLV rocket on February 17, 2024. (Image credit: ISRO)

The satellite was separated from the rocket after 18 minutes of liftoff and was transferred to a GTO orbit at an altitude of 255 km.

Over the next few days, the orbit of the satellite will be raised to a Geo-stationary Orbit which is located 35,786 km (22,236 miles) above the Earth’s surface.

At Geo-stationary Orbit, a satellite takes 24 hours to orbit the earth, which is the same as the earth’s rotation around its own axis. So the satellite remains stationary relative to the earth’s surface and can watch a particular location on earth all the time. This is the advantage of a Geo-stationary Orbit.

The three-stage GSLV rocket is 51.7 m tall and has a lift-off mass of 420 tons. It uses liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen as fuels. The INSAT-3DS mission was the 16th launch for the GSLV rocket.

India's INSAT-3DS weather satellite is seen in the clean room before launch
India’s INSAT-3DS weather satellite is seen in the clean room before launch. (Image credit: ISRO via X)

The 2274 kg INSAT-3DS satellite is developed at the U R Rao Satellite Centre, Bengaluru, and the mission is fully funded by the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). The duration of the mission is 10 years.

“The satellite is designed for enhanced meteorological observations and monitoring of land and ocean surfaces for weather forecasting and disaster warning,” according to the statement of ISRO.

“The satellite will augment the meteorological services along with the presently operational INSAT-3D and INSAT-3DR satellites,” they added.

The satellite has carried the following scientific instruments:

Payloads Functions
ImagerGenerates images of the Earth and its
SounderProvides the information on the vertical profiles of the Atmosphere – temperature, humidity etc.
Data Relay Transponder (DRT)Receives global Meteorological, Hydrological and Oceanographic data from automatic data collection platforms and automatic weather stations (AWS).
Satellite aided Search and Rescue (SA&SR) transponderProvides an alert for Search and Rescue purposes

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Ashim Chandra Sarkar founded Space & Telescope in 2022. He holds a M.Sc. in physics and has five years of research experience in optical astronomy. His passion for astronomy inspired him to open this website. He is responsible for the editorial vision of

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